Coffeelosophy About Us
Coffeelosophy, About us;
The philosophy behind a Thai soprano named 'coffee', who starts her musical journey with a determination to fulfill her dreams as a musician and as a person who wants to make the world a better place.
Why Coffee? Who is Coffee? Why not "Melody"?
Please see inside the book!
To find out more about Coffee and her philosophy, please continue reading down the page.
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At the time Coffee was growing up, the Thai phrase 'sing to eat, dance to eat' extended its meaning to professional musicians. Child-stars were frowned upon and would not be recognized until much later, and no good parent would support his child's musical talent. In fact, they would try to suppress and shield it. Just like anywhere else in the world, even up until now, the music profession was not regarded either as a real career, nor a proper career for scholars and those from 'good' families. Baby Gafaae was not an exception. Her parents tried hard to guide her away because there were already two successful (yet still not noble) musicians in her father's side of the family.
Up to the present day, Gafaae recalls only two wake-up calls, and the first was that very question . She secretly applied to a music school in the northeast and, with help from family friends, went for an audition. Only after she received her acceptance from the college did she break the news to her parents. Instead of congratulations, though, her mother showed up at her doorstep. After a long lecture, her mother decided to let Coffee attend the music school to learn 'how to' sing (chuckled), so that her daughter would have her 'fun' instead of getting a 'real' education, but only after asking from Gafaae that she would promise to return home to Thailand immediately after her graduation where, with guidance, she could take the business and expand its empire into the next century. If her mother had paid attention, though, she would have realized that Gafaae never gave her that promise. She had put her hands together and 'wai' her mother with her head bowed to her chest - a manner that expresses respect to the elderly- but the promise was never made. Later on, Gafaae realized how passionate she felt about singing and kept buying time to keep her away from the family obligations, to more studying (how much more studying can there be for singing?) to getting married to the man that she loved - a law degree graduate who came to the music school for an artist diploma in opera - whom she met on stage - while she was still an under graduate student - at the opening of the second act of Puccini's opera La Boheme.
While studying first as an undergraduate and then as a graduate student, all the teachers, directors, and coaches kept telling Gafaae and even her future husband that they both were too young for an operatic career, that they should be patient and wait until they were 28...30....32....older so that their voices had time to grow and settle into the repertoire they would perform. Gafaae had a tougher time since the teachers were too worried about figuring out the right 'fach' for her . She had a rich warm timbre of a mezzo but also a lot of ringing high notes. Was she a mezzo or a soprano? What should we do with Coffee? She graduated with a lot of confusion. Suddenly, the very dear thing that was the biggest part of her life was taken, stripped, and torn down. Since Coffee and the Voice were one, she lost her most trusted friend - herself -
Her mother could not have found a better time to make her this wonderful, out-of-this world, unsurpassed business proposition. While looking for her own 'Coffee-identity' she and her husband had their first child. Like all new parents, they fiercely felt that they had to provide and protect their baby boy, and since being a clerk at a law firm and working retail while trying to gain more singing experience would not be sufficient, Gafaae decided to pack up her small family and move to Bangkok, where she would remain for the next 13 years with three more additions to the family.
Success was the key word, and success it was! Gafaae, although working under her parents' direction, but still with the belief that soon she would have total control of the enterprise, put in a lot of hard work and it paid off - she was on top of the world. One of the topmost leading business(wo)men she was, and standing by her side was a loving husband with his very highly respected and prominent job as an international school teacher at one of the best schools in Thailand. They were proud parents of three happy and healthy boys. They dined at five-star restaurants and took vacations at their own beach condo and mountain-top get-away villa, and they were regular guests at the Ambassador's residences of several countries. When Gafaae was stressed from work she went to her favorite jewelry stores and, judging from what she brought home with her each time, she was stressed quite often. Still, with all the success she had, she woke up everyday with the same thing that popped into her head - Why am I NOT singing and what am I doing here?
Gafaae had the resources and she utilized them. With help from her company, she first put on recitals with her husband the baritone. They re-introduced themselves to the Thai society as singers-performers. Right around the same time, they were also invited as guest artists in concerts of local music organizations. Things happen for a reason, and soon Gafaae was offered adjunct voice teaching positions in the music departments of two renowned prestigious universities, while at the same time she and her husband received requests from music lovers to take them as their private students. P&R: P stands for Pradichaya and R stands for Ralph, and one music critic referred to them as, 'an operatic couple, a match made in heaven.' Together, they built their teaching studio, and also produced concerts and productions of their own, their students and invited guests - all of which happened during their 'spare time' When it rains, it pours, but this was for a good reason: a man who had left Thailand decades ago returned with his brand new opera composition in English based upon a Thai drama by HRH King Mongkut (Rama VI), an opera commissioned to raise funds for the renovation of the Grand PhrayaThai Palace in which a large section of the land was turned into a medical school and a teaching hospital. There was a lot of advertisement for the event. By then, the talk of the town was 'KhunGafaae?' - khun is a polite title given to polite people by other polite people, 'She's the top business woman, she also sings opera.' No one put her down for 'sing to eat, dance to eat,' anymore. And by the time the famous opera production took place, Gafaae's youngest baby girl was barely four months old.
The Italians drink their espresso with sugar
The Belgians drink coffee with equal parts of hot chocolate
The Moroccans drink theirs with peppercorns
The Thais - with condensed milk - unstirred, at the bottom of their thick glass cup, accompanied with a separate cup of jasmine tea.
None of these was by any means a full-time job. Gafaae was on cloud nine, but she was exhausted maintaining the balance of her highly competitive business, her teaching, her performing, and her three boys and one girl. When she looked at the love of her life she was filled with worry, for he looked exhausted from being sleep deprived - his waking up at four every morning in order to beat the Bangkok traffic to get to school by six, and having gone on way past midnight every night because of the teaching, performing and socializing could not last forever. Gafaae asked herself if this was worth it. By then, both her parents had retired from their positions; yet, she was not appointed as their successor. Her business was at the point that either she gained total control or she would have to move on. On the peforming front, both Gafaae and her husband felt they fell into the 'local' category, but the even greater frustration came from being so far away from the mainstream singing culture and the consequent lack of access to teachers, coaches and more companies; not to mention all the other factors which are important in order to further their study in order to add to their singing and stage craft. Gafaae realized that she had to make a decision.
After many long discussions, The Coffee family had made the decision to resign from their day-time jobs that gave them security and stability for thirteen years. They took care of loose ends, sold most of their belongings, packed up and moved back to the east coast of the United States to a town where Gafaae grew up. Since then, both Gafaae and Ralph have been honing their skills and pursuing their dreams. It took the couple awhile to realize that the singing career now is not the same as it was when they left the country the first time.
Before they left the US many years ago, they were advised by those in the business to be patient while honing their skills and their time would come. Coffee and Ralph came to see that by stepping off the career train their time probably has come and gone without them in the car. They were first in shock, then inspired by excellent young artists who are performing today at an age when Gafaae and Ralph had been told 'too young, be patient.' They understand, too, the importance of stagecraft, although they are intrigued that singing is no longer the most important thing. They also have the hardest time coming to terms with the 'tissue mentality,' where you use a singer once and then throw him away. There are so many beautiful things that can be created, singers are much more valuable than to be used and discarded as tissues.
With the bad economy, the first thing to go is arts funding. Singing is a profession that is taken for granted just because we sing as a natural part of our existence. If the profession were not respected before, it is worse now. Gafaae and Ralph have seen a lot of artists at different levels striving to keep their heads above the supply-over-demand-in bad economy-water. Sadly, news coming out from opera companies is not good news. Gafaae and Ralph would hate to see fellow colleagues turning away from pursuing their dreams. There is a solution, and all have to join hands and address it together. It is their belief that the problem has to be addressed at the root level, but we need everyone's help to make the change happen sooner for all of us.
Soprano Pradichaya Gafaae Poonyarit, a musician with the mind of an entrepreneur, welcomes you to explore all possibilities of how we can be
beyond our dreams.
Our Mission: Reset the balance of the supply-demand scale
Coffeelosophy - You are here.
Reset the balance of the supply-demand scale
Musical Menu - Music Education Programs/Career Advice/In-Home Education and Entertainment Program/Entertainment
We do what we can with our own two hands, with many pairs of hands we will achieve our goal sooner.
Gafaae and Ralph focus their attention on three aspects:
The artists-musicians of today.
The audience -keeping today's audiences happy while developing and recruiting in-coming audiences.
The up-coming artists-musicians-music lovers of the future.
Coffee and baritone build the suite to be a hub for people sharing the same profession, to keep our performance-goers happy, and to pass along the knowledge to the young musicians and audiences-to-be.
But because Gafaae, especially, gave up her wonderful, high-paying, first rate day-time job when she relocated, they can't offer the use of La Suite without any compensation.
TAVADesign, Souvenirs, CoreMelody, and CoffeePrograms are good examples of how Gafaae and Ralph would like to generate an income in order to compensate the cost of putting up this community.
Of course, there is a page inviting anyone to become a patron. These pages are self-explanatory, and we hope that if you have read this far you would also spend a little more time visiting them.
...in a small frame...
Exclusive Artists-Musicians Lounge & Gallery - Gafaae and Ralph hope to see a good mix of artists, musicians,coaches, teachers, directors, conductors, orchestras and even opera companies joining La Suite. The time that we all did our own things individually and minded just our own business, is gone. We all need friends and together we stand proud and strong. As much as Gafaae's&Ralph's wishes are that you would hire TAVADesignto produce your next you tube video, or come to them for PR Consultation in order to gain the benefit from a profile page and the use of the discussion and announcement board, they would settle for an agreement from you to embed LCMS link to your website in exchange for a profile page with your name on the URL. Not a bad deal, is it? The sooner we have profile pages up, the sooner we build our community. Souvenirs is a market place provided to aid you in selling your CDs and other fine products at a low cost.
Classical Music Lovers Social Club- As Gafaae and Ralph are writing this long page and building the website, they introduce themselves in the community and offer their musical services and educational programs to everyone. They hope to use the club to be the center where their audience can share music activities. You can do the same with your communities, too, and please do not underestimate the power of local fans. You need to come home to where you will be embraced by people who support you. And, please introduce them to our club so they can mingle among all like-minded music lovers. The more members we have, the better it will be for what we stand for.
Coffeeni- While offering our arts, we cannot forget that we have to build and prepare our future artists, musicians, the next coaches, teachers, conductors and directors. At La CoffeeMelodie Suite we provide education through CoffeePrograms and Core Melody. Piano accompanist apprentice award and Outreach Program are also given through Coffee Programs. Gafaae and Ralph hope to build a Coffeeni Center for our up-coming musicians and provide musical activities and a comfort zone for our young musicians.
If you are pleased with this column,
please see other services that we offer
Core Melody Voice Studio
Photo Wand Retouching Boutique
Digital Arts Design
Shop at our kiosk
please treat us to
a cup of Joe!
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CORE MELODY VOICE TEACHING STUDIO
Now accepts voice students.
Tailored for your special occasions.
Outreach program and more.
MY FOOD GALLERY
Features food photos and links to recipes
MATH MADE EASY
Tutoring Service by Ralph Schatzki
Join Ralph in Sports talk!
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